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Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce: Results of the 2012 Online Consumer Fraud Survey

NCJ Number
Penny Jorna; Alice Hutchings
Date Published
54 pages
This report presents the results of a 2012 survey in Australia that solicited Australians' voluntary participation in reporting exposure to consumer scams, so as to assess the ways in which scams can affect victims and their families as well as how victims respond to scams, and also to identify emerging typologies and issues that could be used to inform fraud prevention initiatives.
As in previous years, a high proportion of respondents had received a scam invitation (96 percent), with almost a quarter responding to the scam in some way; 8 percent reported having lost money that amounted to approximately $8,000 per person (almost $850,000 in total). The most prevalent scam type involved fraudulent lotteries, followed by computer support scams; the latter is a means of obtaining payment for services that are never provided or a means of installing malicious software that can be used to obtain personal information at a later time. Although e-mail continued to be the most common delivery method for scams, the use of land-line and mobile phones in targeting potential scam victims increased. The report also includes additional information on online shopping scams. The prevalence of scams that target those who sell or buy high-value items online, such as motor vehicles, was high in 2012, which indicates the need for improved public information on this type of scam. Although just over 1,500 people completed the survey, with good levels of representation from all Australian States and Territories, the sample was not representative of the whole Australian population. 4 figures, 17 tables, 53 references, appended survey questionnaire